It is a proven fact that most non-anime watchers would prefer a sports anime if given a choice. The sports genre of anime is one of the most popular categories that exist among the fanbases. All kinds of audiences enjoy a light-hearted sports anime that imbibe the story of a persevering team or a player who tries out his luck in a sport. Be it baseball or volleyball, these shows garner large audiences sheerly because of the love of sports. So today, we have culminated a list of only the best offers in the popular genre. Here is a list of the 13 Best Sports Anime.
13. Eyeshield 21
The 2005 show which experimented its way in Japan through football was Eyeshield 21. Soccer was not that popular in the east like it was in the west. Still, Eyeshield 21 managed to catch many eyeballs in that period. The show is given a pretty impressive rating of 8.08 by MyAnimeList. When Studio Gallop first released Eyeshield 21 in 2005, fans were not very keen to watch the show.
But as the story progressed, many fans changed their view towards soccer. The plot traces the life of Sena Kobayakawa, who has become an incredible runner as he was chased by bullies all his life. One day, the captain of the Football Club notices his skills and makes him join the football team. His journey into learning the skills of football and becoming a great player makes it a compelling plot. Eyeshield 21 has its share of comedy and tragedy beautifully combined.
12. Kuroko No Basket
A decade-old addition to the basketball genre of anime is Kuroko No Basket. Produced by Production I.G, this 2012 show won many hearts because of a beautiful coming-of-age story. Even on the global charts, the show has a rating of 8.46. “You will be the light, and I will be your shadow” is the show’s most iconic line.
And this pretty much summarises the entire plot of Kuroko No Basket. Kuroku Tetsuya and Taiga Kagami are best friends and strategic players of basketball. But they have very contrasting playing tactics. This is a beautifully crafted basketball show which you should not miss if the themes of friendship and teamwork attract you. Hence we give Kuroko No Basket the third spot in this list of Best Sports Anime.
Haikyuu!! is a name you would’ve heard even if you have zero clues about the anime world. This popular volleyball story by Production I.G has a high reputation amongst fans. MyAnimeList has rated this show 8.68, which is a high number as compared to many others. This 2014 show has four seasons with 20 episodes each.
The story of Haikyuu!! takes us to Karasuno High, where a Volleyball Team is triumphing hard to make its way towards becoming Japan’s number one volleyball team. The team has two new players, Hinata and Tobio, who are responsible for the upgrade in the team’s performance. However, there are many hurdles in the way of these students. The beautiful journey of a dysfunctional team into becoming Japan’s number one team is Haikyuu!!.
10. Hajime No Ippo
A classic anime that made its mark at the beginning of the century was Hajime No Ippo. Hajime No Ippo was created by Madhouse Studios in the year 2000. The show is based on professional boxing as a sport. Moreover, the series has an impressive score of 8.83 on global charts. The premise introduces us to Ippo Makunouchi, a quiet High School student who has faced bullying all his life.
All he ever wants to do is give a tough fight to his bullies. But he never manages to gather the courage to hit them back. Everything changes when he meets a professional boxer, Takamura Mamoru. This new guardian offers Ippo to join boxing, and he does! Ippo’s beautiful journey of inner rage and triumph will make you fall in love with Hajime No Ippo.
9. Prince of Tennis
As the name suggests, this show is based on the sport of Tennis which was not very popular in the early 2000s. On MyAnimeList, the rating of this popular show is 8.05 out of 10. J.C.Staff and Production I.G is behind this show. The plot follows the life of Ryouma Ichizen, whose father was a legendary tennis player. But this fact has always burdened him into becoming his equal.
Prince of Tennis is purely based on the techniques and tactics of Tennis. Whether this talented boy will get his own due in Tennis, we will only find out as we watch this one. The compelling story made Prince of Tennis one of the best sports anime of the 2000s. If you are looking for positivity and motivation in life, this is the show for you.
8. Free! Eternal Summer
And the eighth spot for the best sports anime goes to Free! Eternal Summer. The series is produced by Kyoto Animation in 2014, Free! Eternal Summer is based on the sport of swimming. Welcome to Iwatobi Swim Club, which is a small highschool swimming club set by students. Initially, this swim club performs decently at competitions.
But as the boys grow up, they must choose a path between career and passion. Witness the small pressures of life as the students have many choices ahead of them, but in reality, there is truely none. Don’t miss this beautiful story of one’s love for swimming and the parallel decision of choosing a career in life.
7. One Outs
So, One Outs is a 2008 release that took the baseball anime genre by storm. One Outs has a high rating of 8.42/10 on MAL. The series is created by Madhouse Studios, which is known for producing incredible shows. Moreover, the plot of One Outs tracks the daily chores of Toua Tokuchi who is a normal high school boy who purposefully lives a dangerous life.
Toa Tokuchi will the most irritable protagonist that you will come across in any anime. He is a thanklessly careless boy. Yet, you will overlook all his flaws when you see him on the pitch. Thus, the story of this eccentric man makes a compelling premise.
6. Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road
Are you a fan of cycling? Then maybe the makers read your mind and decided to make this show for you. Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road is an unconventional anime that is based on cycling as a sport. Moreover, the global charts record a rating of 8.28 for this anime series. TMS Entertainment came up with this idea in 2014, and the rest is history.
Sakamichi Onoda and his friends compete against each other to become better professional cyclists. The series is based on the theme of endeavor in the face of hardships. Watch this one to witness a compelling story that will motivate you for life.
5. Big Windup!
Another beautiful show on our list is the 2007 release, Big Windup. MyAnimeList has rated this one an 8.14. The plot revolves around Ren Mihashi, who is a middle school baseball player. Much like Cross Game, this protagonist also suffers from low self-esteem, which affects his game.
Ren must learn to take charge of his emotions and focus only on his game. The show explorers not just the techniques and tactics of a game but also the emotional states of the player. This is a brilliantly crafted show that is a perfect blend of enthralling and thrilling storytelling.
4. Cross Game
This one is a 2009 hit series that people binge even now. Even MyAnimeList has given this show a high rating of 8.56. The plot revolves around a secret baseball player, Kou Kitamura. The reason why this boy keeps his talent for baseball secret is that he is scared of displaying his talent publicly.
The Tsukishima family eventually helps him bring out his talent in the real world as he sets a journey to become the greatest baseball player ever. This one is a masterpiece that you must not miss at any cost if baseball is your thing.
3. Initial D: Final Stage
Produced by SynergySP, Initial D: Final Stage is a 2014 anime that is based on racing. MyAnimeList rates this one 8.29 for portraying thrilling action. Meet Takumi Fujiwara, a confident racer who has never lost a race in his life. But now, the game is not for the rookies anymore.
The stakes are high as this is a race they have never participated in. The contenders, the winning prize, and the bid are all at their highest. Will these opponents finally beat our team of champions? Initial D Final Stage will not disappoint you in any way. Thus, Initial D: Final Stage gets the third spot on our list of 13 Best Sports Anime.
2. Air Gear
A Toei Animation produced show which landed in many hearts in 2006 was Air Gear. Don’t go by the critical rating of 7.69. You will love this street fighting fiesta despite all its flaws. As for the premise, it follows the life of a young boy Itsuki Minami, who is yet another rebellious street-fighter.
But his street-fighting days are short-lived as he comes across a mysterious pair of roller skates. These skates take him to an entirely different world where one must skate in order to survive. Thus, watch this chaotic and enthralling story as Itsuki struggles to find his place in the new world.
Major arrived in October 2004 when many production companies work going for sports anime. MyAnimeList rating for this one is a solid 8.45 out of 10. The show was produced under the production company SynergySP. The premise follows the journey of a young baseball team who must follow their fathers’ footsteps, who have been legendary baseball players.
The protagonist, Gorou Honda, is a Little League who wants to be a Major League Battle just like his father. The story of Major is divided into six seasons. Hence, don’t miss this one if baseball is your thing.
So, these were all the sports anime that have made a mark amongst audiences. Are you satisfied with the rankings of our list of Best Sports Anime? Did we miss out on any of your favorite shows? Which sports show do you plan to watch next? Let us know in the comment section. For more cool stuff on anime, keep visiting this corner.